One hundred lashes
I was in the hairdresser’s the other morning (yes, I realise that all these posts about shopping and grooming make me sound painfully Polly, but what can I say? I have interesting thoughts at uninteresting times), killing the half hour of waiting for my foils to develop by flicking through Cosmo. Gnnnnnnnrrrrrrr. Flicking through Cosmo isn’t even a guilty pleasure – for illicit thrills it’s Tatler every time, with its endless coverage of horsey Brits, saucy Russians and diamonds airbrushed to Maximum Sparkle, probably as a way of distracting everyone from where they came from. But! I digress, probably as a way of distracting myself from Cosmo.
We all know that the articles are fatuous and the confessions are bleakly depressing (seriously, young women of Britain, are you living in a permanent hen party? What gives?). During this little dip in the Cosmocean I was, as I generally am, particularly enraged by the generic sex article that promised to reveal – hallelujah, finally! – whether I was “amazing in bed”. It drew the astonishing conclusion that women who are happier with themselves are probably better lovers, so letting go of your hang-ups and liking your body might be useful. You don’t say. Cosmo’s advice for achieving this mystical state? If you don’t like how your “breasts droop”, wear a sexy bra in bed! A red lightbulb helps disguise cellulite! Stick to positions that don’t show your “wobbly bits”! Indeed they might be on to something: some of my most exciting moments of intimacy have happened when I’ve refused to take my underwear off, perform without a pre-designed lighting scheme or make any sudden moves. Because of course, oh women of Britain, the only possible way for you to learn to like your fat, disgusting, flawed, pock-marked, un-Cheryl-like bodies is to find ways to avoid looking at them.
But I digress, again. This particular trip into the Cosmology was most memorable for a bit of advertising that I’m sure we’ve all noticed. In this case it was Max Factor New Lash Extension Effect mascara “inspired by professional lash extensions” (why are beauty products always inspired by something? What kind of fuckwit finds fake eyelashes inspirational? Read a book, you idiot). On the side of the page, in teeny tiny writing, were the fateful words “lashes enhanced in post production”. I know they only do this because they have to, but honestly, what’s the point? Are women really so incredibly thick that they don’t realise this means “this photo has bugger all to do with reality and no relation to the effect our product will have on you”? Do they not care? Perhaps we’re all so seduced by PhotoShop that we can’t really tell what’s real anymore, so we buy the stuff and take it home and put it on and then enhance ourselves in post-production.
I’m hardly breaking ground when I suggest that the beauty industry is a great big con that promises miracles while telling you in no uncertain terms that without these miracles you will never attract the sexual attention of men and, of course, without the sexual attention of men you do not exist. The thing that really bakes my noodle about it is that women keep buying this gloop, even though the advertising admits that it doesn’t get the effect it claims to. But then who am I to judge? Don’t I snobbishly refuse to use anything but Mac on the basis that it’s just “better”? Marketing, marketing, our lives are run by marketing.